Returning as Froob... still no GMS?

So, after a long time I just got back to AO, this time as a froob, as I don’t know how that urge to play AO lasts. If it carries on to next month, I think I’m going to reactivate my 4 paid accouts.

As I walk through the early levels I have to say, well done. The starting area and the dungeon progression got a lot more streamlined. It feels quite good. But as I write this, there’s also a major flaw coming to mind:

Froobs still can’t use GMS. They still have to ask someone to buy items. That’s not just inconvenient for froobs, it’s plainly annoying. But why is it like that? I can’t think of a good reason. But there are good reasons for opening GMS up to all players. Reasons which can even earn you money, Funcom.

At the moment, froobs need to make a paid account to use GMS, even if they just want so sell a GRACE for a quick and heavy credits injection. I guess there are many froob players who would have bought a GRACE or two if it wouldn’t have been like that.

Also, if froobs are able to buy the not-shop-buyable nanos in GMS, there’s a higher chance they stay in the game longer, possibly buying more things from the ingame store, getting another GRACE or two, possibly decide to go paid after seeing everything the game has to offer for free.

Last but not least it can possibly cool down the ingame economy a little bit, if the number of froob player is at least somewhere near the number of paid players. If that’s the case, there’s at least a chance that credits get into significantly more hands, effectively dropping the amount of credits per gms-enabled-account which will, hopefully, drop prices.

So, why not, Funcom? Make it happen.
It’s not as I (and from what I’ve seen, many others) want paid content for free or something special for free players, just something every online game has and should have available for all players in the game.


Free would of course be great, but alternatively it would also be nice if it were a separate option to buy, like the €5,75 mail functionality. Especially if it could be bought by a paid account and given as an activation code to a free account.


The reason for froob GMS lock out is ’ credit sellers ', they are still there even with the population now so low.

Though with the greatly reduced population this continued practice is just a great hurdle.

That same reason is to why the early lvls make so little credits, again another great hurdle.

Now making little credits on the newbie area, that is just to encourage people to leave the area.

Free GMI access to froobs without any restrictions = BAD!
* Free access with no restrictions could be a disaster because of credit sellers and exploiters.

Earned GMI access to froobs with restrictions = VERY GOOD!
* Requiring people to make an investment before being able to access the GMI would discourage breaking any rules.
* More people actively selling and buying items on the GMI => A more enjoyable gaming experience for everyone!

Some suggestions on required investments:
* Min level requirement: 50 (or 100? 200?)
* A one-time payment to get account-wide access to GMI. Maybe for 1200 FC points?

But I think the way it is now is also encouraging people to buy creds and items via credit sellers, which is also bad.
Giving froobs access would at least provide a legal way to buy credits via GRACE, which is more expensive than credit sellers, but shows you’re on the safe side with your transaction.

Credit selling existed long before AO’s GMI and free to play system were introduced and they’ll be around until the servers are brought down. And that’s true for every MMORG on the market. Credit selling and froob buying items via GMI are separate and distinctly different issues.

Everquest allows free to play accounts (formerly labeled Bronze and Silver) to buy from bazaar brokers and use of the email system, they just aren’t allowed to setup a sales account.

EQ handles credit seller chat spam via coded system checks and a chat window function that flags the person selling stuff as a spammer - after a given number of people flag the spammer the chat system auto-bans the spammer. You can get unbanned by petitioning - as a way to check people from launching campaigns against players who they don’t like.

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Unfortunate situation, wanting additional game feature access not previously available I don’t have a problem with; but as everyone has said the implications for cred-sellers/dupers is too large of a risk to implement without some kind of gating to access, I think a simple one would be a level lock perhaps at level 150 fr00b gains access to GMI. I think this would deter the spammers/dupers without any major overhaul but it wouldn’t deter all of them.

FC has lvl 80 req for applying to be an Ark. Many items have a lvl req to equip.

But the hurdle is for new players that are froob, once they get such a late level the use of GMI fade’s into obscurity and becomes more of a novelty then a necessity.

I don’t think, dupers are such a problem. If they find away to dupe items or credits in a quantity that makes credit selling lucrative, they can also buy GRACE via GMS to keep a paid account open for access with said credits. Credit selling itself is a problem, but we’ve got that problem anyways. The spammers can be taken care of, even with automated systems. The credit transaction itself is more of a problem, but afaik there is already a system installed which flags and logs the transaction of some items on server side. It should also be possible to flag and log credit transaction of bigger amounts, especially when it’s credits only, without item exchange. And when it’s more than one of these transactions that could lead to an investigation (while ignoring transactions between connected accounts). Something like that would make selling and delivering credits a real hassle for the sellers to stay under the radar.
A level lock would also be okay I’d say, but not 150. With level 150, most of the RK nanos are already in use for most professions, or at least they should be. Level 80 is more reasonable and it’s exactly the level range, where getting the needed nanos and items starts to become a grind. Look at NTs for example, with the most nanos for a profession. Blitzing all of them is a grind, but so is getting the credits for and, most of it, buying them through the chat system. And it doesn’t stop with nanos, as we all know. I started AO back in 2002, I know the grind. For new players today, it’s a bit much and in many cases I’d say also a lost (potential) customer for Funcom.


There are some items, as a froob, that are simply too hard aquire alone or just unobtainable and having access to the GMS would be a huge convenience.

There is of course the problem of those who break the rules and would abuse it, so if restrictions need be, by all means; a restricted GMS is better than no GMS. A one-off payment would be an instant buy from me (per account), but I’ve thought of other methods that may be convincing:

Level/Title level requirement
Minimum playtime (dedicated players) “/played” - in conjuntion with the level requirement
Buy only, no buy or sell orders - not ideal, but better than nothing
Credit limit - for example, at level 1 a maximum order/purchase of 5 million; level 200: 1 billion.

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Low level’s and mostly froobs, the best way to earn money is to sell to other players. Due to the beyond awful economy dealing with vendoring loot that sells for less then the cost of just ammo.

So they are stuck to using Shopping channels or Lightnet to sell stuff to players which most paid players don’t even look at chat much at all outside of Org and a little less often Lightnet.


I agree I think it’s time froobs had access to the GMS



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I agree, give froobs GMI access. Credit sellers will be around and do their thing either way, most of the sellers are most likely already using GMI to some extent anyway. You’re just not noticing it.


I think tl4 is a good level to unlock the GMI. Before level 100, froobs can get by with the items they get from shops and dungeons with no problems. But once you want to buy some high quality nano programs or high level gear, you have to spam the shopping channel and hope that someone with that item is online in your zone.

There would be a lot more activity and a larger market for nano programs and froob items on the GMI, which would benefit all players, not just froobs.


What froobs need is Shadowlands for free and then they can pay a one-time fee for GMI and a one-time fee for XP in SL past 150 or 200 or whatever.

Many games allow free players to just buy from a market but not sell. That could be helpful for needed items and keep the bots from selling en mass.

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